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Analyzing Unstable Systems of Linear Equations

Harris Shultz 

May 2000, Volume 93, Issue 5, Page 388

The Curriculum and Evaluation Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM 1989, 146) states, "Students who are able to apply and translate among different representations of the same problem situation or of the same mathematical concept will have at once a powerful, flexible set of tools for solving problems and a deeper appreciation of the consistency and beauty of mathematics". The Standards also states, "The connections between algebra and geometry are among the most important in high school mathematics" (1989, 147). This article shows how the phenomenon of instability in the solution of a system of linear equations can be analyzed both algebraically and geometrically.

Grades 9-12
Problem Solving / Problem Posing
Systems of Equations